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Old 06-05-2015, 12:38 PM   #15
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Thanks.

I will try to find the other end of that wire where it connects to the PV Controller and see if there's any voltage there before flipping the panel. Can't imagine the 10 amp fuse going when the RV has been sitting in the driveway w/ everything off and the solar panel maintaining all three batteries. Probably Murphy's Law.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:52 PM   #16
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Measured 18.63 VDC on the yellow wire from the solar panel going into the charge controller (small module next to BIM w/ status LEDs). Nothing on the output side and the status LEDs are all off. Not sure if there's anything repairable/replaceable in it but the dealer replaced it once under warranty.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:30 PM   #17
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What was the charge status of the house batteries? If the batteries are fully charged, the solar controller will not provide any current to the batteries at all. From the manual for the charge controller:

The PVCM10 performs four basic battery charging functions:

* It senses when the battery is fully charged and disconnects the
PV charge current to avoid over-charging the battery.

* It resumes charging the battery when the battery voltage has
dropped sufficiently to accept additional charge current.

* It checks the availability of PV charge current, by cycling the
relay every 4 minutes. If there is insufficient charge current
available, it’s internal relay will disconnect the battery to prevent
discharge through the PV panels at night.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:33 PM   #18
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That's when I first noticed the problem was when the batteries (3) all went below 12.45V which Jim Parrett told me was the trip point and there was no charge current or total amp hours on the display. Not sure why there's 13V at the controller and the two displays in the cabinet indicated 12.7V. Currently loading batteries to get down to 12.3V.

I just rechecked the red wire output and it was at 13V while the coach was at 12.7V. Solar panel output (yellow) was at 18V.

The status LEDs are Charge-red, Full-green, Partial-yellow, and Low-orange.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gmillerok1 View Post
What was the charge status of the house batteries? If the batteries are fully charged, the solar controller will not provide any current to the batteries at all. From the manual for the charge controller:

The PVCM10 performs four basic battery charging functions:

* It senses when the battery is fully charged and disconnects the
PV charge current to avoid over-charging the battery.

* It resumes charging the battery when the battery voltage has
dropped sufficiently to accept additional charge current.

* It checks the availability of PV charge current, by cycling the
relay every 4 minutes. If there is insufficient charge current
available, itís internal relay will disconnect the battery to prevent
discharge through the PV panels at night.
I guess they never heard of diodes!
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:23 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by lewster View Post
I guess they never heard of diodes!
Ya think? Maybe they didn't want to deal w/ the 0.6V diode drop.

Is it normal for the panel output to be in the 17V-18V range in full sun?
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:36 PM   #21
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What? And spend 2 cents! No way!
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:28 PM   #22
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Ya think? Maybe they didn't want to deal w/ the 0.6V diode drop.

Is it normal for the panel output to be in the 17V-18V range in full sun?

Yes......... depending on which cells are used in the panel. I have seen 19-20 VDC from the panels we use.


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Old 06-09-2015, 11:48 PM   #23
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Thanks. Sounds like I'm looking at buying a new charge controller then.
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:26 AM   #24
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Shark: you and the other posters in this threa, which I've been reading with interest, clearly know your way around automotive electrical systems. I don't, and guaranteed would make everything worse if I started unscrewing panels and looking at the wiring in back for fuse holders, etc.

So just out of curiosity: if I encountered the same / similar problem that you're dealing with, and took it to my Airstream dealer: would the service dept. there be able to figure it out?

Thanks for any perspective you have on the question
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Old 06-10-2015, 10:36 AM   #25
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It all depends on their level of knowledge of Airstream and what support that Airstream could give them. It took my dealer two tries to fix this problem a couple of years ago.

If you are still under warranty, I would advise you to let the dealer take a stab at your problem. Otherwise there is a high level of knowledge on this forum and you could try posting your problem here for assistance.
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Old 06-14-2015, 04:45 PM   #26
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Called Atkinson Electronics for help. Spoke w/ Robert Kendal who was very knowledgeable to determine if the controller was bad. He had me try a reset by disconnecting and reconnecting the ground lead. No joy and he agreed that w/ the symptoms I had that it was bad. Shipping me a new one and just wanted the old one back for failure analysis.

Also learned that the trip voltage is 12.7V when the blue jumper sticking out of the potting is unclipped and 12.4 when it's not. This is at 20-25*C. And the "Cable Error" LED on the back of the PVDM4-LC Display Module is usually dim unless the ethernet cable that connects it to the controller is bad and then it's bright. If the controller is bad, then it's off.

Here's three nice to have brochures if they weren't in your portfolio.

http://www.atkinsonelectronics.com/m...fs/PVCM25D.pdf

http://atkinsonelectronics.com/manuf...dfs/PVCM25.pdf

http://www.atkinsonelectronics.com/m...s/PVDM4-LC.pdf
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Old 06-16-2015, 11:30 PM   #27
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Rec'd the new controller, installed and everything works now. Relatively easy change-out. Did have to install a crimp-on terminal on the battery + lead and a crimp-on splice for the solar panel lead as Airstream didn't have any bus bar for this like they did for the battery + & -.

Returned the old one for failure analysis. They replaced it under their warranty which was a happy surprise.

Mine was located below and forward of the BIM under the lounge on the curbside.

Conclusion: If you have voltage on the battery and solar panel leads and the LEDs are all off, then the controller is probably bad.
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Old 06-17-2015, 04:52 AM   #28
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Interesting to see the two different trip voltages.....possibly explains why my solar kicks in when I push the voltage just below 12.7. Excellent info.


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